Posts tagged Hello
Apple today announced the iPad Air, a thinner and lighter version of its tablet that weighs just one pound.
The new iPad Air runs on Apple’s new A7 computer chip with a 64-bit processor, the new M7 motion sensor chip that Apple introduced in the iPhone 5S and a 5-megapixel camera as well as an FaceTime HD front camera designed to work well in low light. The iPad Air’s 9.7-inch screen resolution weighs in at 2048×1536 pixels. The thinner Air is 7.5 millimeters thick.
Apple claims the device has a 10 hour battery life.
The iPad Air will replace the fourth-generation iPad and will be available starting at $499 on November 1. Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2, starting at $399. The Air will run Apple’s new iOS 7 operating system and come with Apple’s suite of iWork productivity and iLife media creation suites for free. Apple has new “smart” covers and cases for the iPad Air and new Retina Display iPad Mini.
View full post on ReadWrite
My body is sitting in my office in Arlington, Virginia. But at the same time, I am also standing in a conference room in Palo Alto, California.
I’m test-driving Beam, a remote-control robot avatar that gives me a physical presence in two places at once. Thanks to a 17-inch screen and a six-microphone array, I can be seen and heard face-to-face. I can even use my keypad to “walk” around the room to interact with other people—without undergoing a cross-country plane ride.
Beam was originally developed by San Francisco Bay Area robotics studio Willow Garage. Impressed by its growing potential, founder Scott Hassan spun off an entire new company, Suitable Technologies, exclusively to focus on Beam. A year later, as Willow Garage’s other projects seem to be foundering, Hassan has retained a significant number of Willow Garage employees to work on Beam.
“Reasoning With A Moron”
Scott Hassan describes himself as a very optimistic person who is constantly viewing problems as far easier to solve than they are. It’s this attitude that brought him success as a programmer who helped Google in its earliest stages as a research project at Stanford University.
But as the founder of Willow Garage, it only brought him disappointment as he quickly learned the limitations of modern robotics. Everything that was easy for a human to accomplish, it seemed, was near-impossible for its personal robotics model, the PR2.
“The amount of effort it takes for the PR2 to just pick up a cup requires an unbelievable amount of complication,” says Hassan. “It’s hard to comprehend how something so easy a two-year-old can do it can require the whole team’s effort and then barely make it work. It’s not like reasoning with a two-year-old, it’s like reasoning with a moron.”
It’s no wonder that Hassan began to focus on Beam, a Willow Garage project that he spun off into its own company, Suitable Technologies, two years ago. Beam faces very few of the same problems thanks to human intelligence. Where PR2 sees windows as entryways and mirrors as terrifying enigmas—“If you ever face a robot invasion, all you need to do is get some mirrors,” Hassan jokes—the human-controlled Beam knows better.
Hassan still believes in personal robotics, and said he expects robots to be in our homes within the next five to ten years. But for now, Beam holds the most promise, and Hassan wants to give it every opportunity to succeed.
“I think Beam is a very viable product that needs more resources and team members to make it into something widespread,” he said.
But when he moved the majority of Willow Garage employees over to Suitable Technologies this month, something had to give. And that turned out to be the PR2.
While most Willow Garage employees transition over (Hassan could not yet give me an exact number), a team will stay behind to support the 50 PR2s that exist in research labs around the world, continue to build the rest that are in progress, and sell the rest of Willow’s stock. If you’ve got $450,000 lying around, perhaps you can snag one.
“The PR2 was never designed to be mass marketed,” said Hassan. “We knew we were going to stop making them at a certain point. But the ideas we came up with along the way were the follow-up market product would be. My vision is that Beam is that.”
Hassan hopes that Willow Garage employees’ experience working on the PR2 will lead to dramatic technical advances to Beam. His next goal is to have Beam users be able to interact with their remote environments through remote-control hands and arms.
The sun may be setting on Willow Garage and its most impressive personal robot, but Hassan’s vision of personal robotics is alive and well.
“Beam is the gateway to personal robotics,” he said. “It’s a very simple application allowing you to be somewhere else. Now Willow Garage is bringing us all the expertise and manpower we need to make that happen.”
The Future Of Beam
At $16,000, Beam is the most expensive remote-presence system that currently exists. But it’s also arguably the most sophisticated, with an extensive speaker and video array. Hassan said that this iteration of Beam is not designed to be affordable for users because it’s not intended for the consumer market.
“For the consumer market it seems expensive,” Hassan said. “But it’s not an expensive enterprise product. Our enterprise customers aren’t worried about the price. Instead, they’re impressed by what it can do.”
However, Hassan said interacting with his kids while away on business has opened up new use cases for Beam: Eating dinner with them via Beam. Getting them ready in the morning through nothing but Beam’s voice commands. Giving them rides around the house on Beam’s sturdy, 100-pound base.
“My seven-year-old daughter always gives Beam a hug when she sees my face appear on the screen,” he said. “I don’t know if she realizes this isn’t the norm.”
While most parents couldn’t afford the current Beam, Hassan said he’s now planning on making more affordable Beams for the home. The long term strategy is to have low-end, mid-range, and high-end Beams for sale to different markets.
Substituting For The “Meat Body”
Wheeling my way through Suitable Technologies’ production floor, I can certainly see the appeal that convinced companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Google to purchase their own Beams. As I walk and talk with Greg Hamilton, Suitable’s enterprise accounts manager, there are very few cues that remind me I’m not there in person. At 5’3” and 100 lbs., Beam is just a bit taller and lighter than my actual body. And thanks to arrow key navigation, it only takes a bit more concentration than normal to walk around.
“I bet if you later came here with your meat body, as we call it, you’d remember how to get around,” he said.
Hassan predicts Beam will change the way we work, live, and travel in less than a decade. Hundreds of customers have taken Hassan’s optimistic pitch at face value. And after trying Beam out myself, this optimism is infectious.
View full post on ReadWrite
The online marketing world is a wonderfully vibrant and innovative space. Ideas and innovations bubble up constantly and are accepted or rejected as companies’ online marketing needs — particularly search and SEO — evolve. Change is necessary for any business to survive and thrive in search marketing. Change can also breed fear among marketers — [...]
The post Embracing Change in SEO: Goodbye TLA. Hello MediaWhiz SEO! appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
View full post on Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal
Embracing Change in SEO : Goodbye TLA . Hello MediaWhiz SEO !
Search Engine Journal
Change can also breed fear among marketers — fear that the companies they work with to solve their online marketing solutions may not have the scale, capabilities or wherewithal to help them tackle their increasingly complex online marketing and SEO …
View full post on SEO – Google News
Dr Shah has observed a 6% CPC increase from March through May. The report goes on to forecast another 5-10% CPC increase over the next two quarters, compared with the CPCs in the same quarters in 2012. These increases are being driven in part by enhanced campaigns.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Average position is the most misleading and least helpful metric in AdWords. Clients and stakeholders must understand ROI, not position, is the most important PPC metric. Here’s why you should wean yourself and your clients off average position.
View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest
Evernote’s Hello app for iPhone and Android devices helps you remember people you meet. But here’s the rub: Each platform offers different features. In fact, the Android version, released today, leapfrogs the older iPhone app with a bunch of cool goodies. Why not give the iPhone the same love? Evernote CEO Phil Libin explains his multiplatform strategy.
The Address Book Is Broken
Evernote launched Hello for iPhone in December as a standalone app that syncs with Evernote proper. It seeks to solve a simple problem: We’re not good at remembering people, and the alphabetical address book doesn’t help.
“Everything we build at Evernote, we build for ourselves,” Libin says. “We build things that we want to use.” Libin wanted a better tool for remembering people he met by chance. “I’m just terrible at remembering people. It always gives me a lot of stress, and I worry about it.”
He’s surely not alone there. Except for those people who have the magical gift for names, this is a hard and embarrassing problem with the human brain. We’ve got technological aides, but Evernote doesn’t think the old ones do the trick.
“The old metaphor for remembering people was an address book,” Libin says. “That’s flawed because it’s alphabetical. Your brain doesn’t naturally remember people in alphabetical order by name. You remember people based on kind of what they look like, plus the context: where you met them, what else happened, who else was there.”
So Evernote Hello is designed around the actual encounter. You snap a photo, type in a bare minimum amount of info, and it creates a note in Evernote for that person. In Evernote proper, you can see all the related notes, which means that if you meet a bunch of people at the same time, they’ll all be connected in your outboard brain. In Hello itself, it displays the images as a rich mosaic of all the people you’ve met, which helps you get familiar with them.
Android Versus iOS
The basic experience of Evernote Hello is the same, but today’s new Android version brings in a bunch of new features that iPhone users don’t yet have. It looks at your calendar, call and SMS history and suggests encounters from there. So you don’t have to hand your phone to someone or even meet them in person. (If there’s someone you meet with regularly, you can filter them out in the app.)
It also connects with LinkedIn, which can make saving encounters even faster in professional situations. You can just type in the person’s email address, and Hello will pull their information from LinkedIn. It will even grab their photo, but Evernote recommends you take a pic anyway, so you can remember the face from the moment you actually met.
“It’s a pretty different experience” from the iPhone version, Libin says. So why didn’t these features come out in the iPhone version at the same time? It’s deliberate. Evernote has two different teams building each version of the app, playing to the strengths of the two platforms, and learning from each other’s performance.
“It’s two independent teams that are really trying to talk to each other while learning from [each other's] best designs,” Libin says. “It’s a cooperative and friendly kind of competition. This way, [our teams] aren’t doing lowest-common-denominator stuff. They’re actually building full, native apps that learn from each other.”
Due to the differences between iOS and Android, the two versions are bound to be slightly different. iOS doesn’t currently offer a way for Hello to hook into the phone’s call and message history like Android does. “In terms of the actual features, I think it will be like the platforms themselves,” says Libin. “Android has more stuff. There’s more hooks that make it more powerful for people. iPhone is more beautiful; it has better animation and a smoother experience.”
By iterating one at a time on different platforms, Evernote gets to see which kinds of features work and which don’t for two different user bases. Each team can adapt the other’s findings. But it also lets them play to the strengths of each platform, rather than compromising. As a result, Evernote makes its whole app better, but it also serves its users in a smarter way.
After all, these differences in platform are not just for developers to think about. As Libin points out, “That’s how people decide which phones to get, too.”
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock
View full post on ReadWriteWeb
Goodbye SEO, hello ASO: The time for app store optimization is now
SEO is a term most of us know all too well. Search engine optimization has become a sort of game we Web publishers play with the Internet (or rather, Google) to keep from being buried by the mountains and mountains of data constantly being churned out.
View full post on SEO – Google News